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LaPorte County's free Detox Now program sees high demand
South Bend Tribune - 7/2/2018
July 02--A grant-backed detox program providing free addictions treatment for LaPorte County residents saw such great demand in its first months that it has apparently run out of money for inpatient and residential care for participants.
Detox Now started in November after the Swanson Center, a mental health and addiction services facility, was awarded a $633,000 grant from the Health Care Foundation of LaPorte County. Swanson sought the grant to provide free treatment for addiction because it was a fast and more efficient way to eliminate the barriers stopping people from seeking help, said Dan Peck, executive director and CEO of the Swanson Center.
There was a lot of community interest in building a detox facility, but that could take millions of dollars to construct and get up and running, he said. With the grant, Swanson Center worked with existing community partners, including Recovery Works, a substance abuse treatment center in Merrillville, Ind., to act quickly to address people's needs.
In its first six months, the program had about 62 participants, Peck said. Of those, about 68 percent successfully completed the program.
Unfortunately, said Stephanie Shostok, community relations coordinator, Recovery Works, which provided inpatient and residential care for participants, stopped taking Detox Now patients at the end of May because the money was no longer there to cover the expenses. The need was too great.
From April to the end of May, she said, Recovery Works had almost 30 people come through Detox Now at a cost of about $15,000 for the Recovery Works services.
Shostok said a woman burst into tears speaking to her on the phone. The woman could never find treatment because she didn't have the money and was overwhelmed finding out she could seek help covered by the program.
Detox Now starts with inpatient treatment at Recovery Works, which can take seven to 10 days. After detoxing, a patient then moves to care in the residential unit, for roughly 28 days.
The program has been open to those struggling with misuse of any substance, Peck said, but about 70 percent of those who have gone through the program struggled with opioids of some kind. After completing the program at Recovery Works, patients then work with Swanson Center or another partner facility that offers outpatient treatment.
Peck said he heard from a man who told him he was likely a couple of days away from overdosing given the amount of opioids he was using, but thanks to Detox Now, he found help.
"I really hope and pray we'll be able to start offering this again," Shostok said of Recovery Works' partnership with Detox Now.
Peck did not return a follow-up phone call about the program apparently running out of money for inpatient and residential services.
But, speaking earlier to The Tribune, he said he planned to seek more grant money to potentially expand Detox Now and offer medication-assisted treatment, which uses medications to suppress cravings and help with the pain of withdrawal and detoxing.
"We are hopeful," Peck said of getting continued financial support. "We've certainly received a lot of community support and we are hopeful that (Detox Now) will continue not only into next year but well into the future."
lwright@SBTinfo.com 574-235-6324 @LWrightSBT
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